New Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka was a conspicuously absent figure from his team’s 2021 Media Day proceedings — and for good reason. The Portland native is recovering from what has been described by new President of Basketball Operations and former head coach Brad Stevens as a “fairly asymptomatic” case of COVID-19.
Udoka — hired to the Celtics top coaching job early in the 2021 NBA offseason from his previous position as an assistant coach with Atlantic Division rival Brooklyn Nets — was vaccinated, making the malady a breakthrough case mitigated by his decision to get the jab, perhaps shortening his time away from the team as a result.
Even with the absence, Stevens downplayed the concern.
#Celtics announce new Head Coach Ime Udoka has a breakthrough case of Covid-19. He is in his 10th day of isolation and will not be at media day. Udoka is expected to be at the opening of training camp Tuesday.
— Abby Chin (@tvabby) September 27, 2021
“He’s good at connecting with people,” related the team president.
“He’ll do that over FaceTime, over text, over many different ways … He’s been very invested every single minute. And so I’m not worried about that.”